Arsenal are reportedly set to make a formal offer for Bayer Leverkusen midfield sensation Lars Bender during the summer transfer window, according to reports in Daily Mail.
The 24 year old was linked with a move to Arsenal throughout last summer, but has signed a new contract with Leverkusen which will keep him at the club until 2019.
The report states that Lars Bender is emerging as a strong contender to become Mikel Arteta’s long-term replacement at Arsenal. The Gunners have also compiled a lengthy scouting dossier on the midfielder and this summer could be the time Arsene Wenger finally lands the German.
Arsenal are also keen on Ilkay Gundogan and Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin, but Bender is the preferred target because he will be easier to sign. If he makes the move he would join the likes of Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Serge Gnabry in Arsenal’s growing ranks of German stars.
Lars Bender is a versatile player who can play in multiple positions even as right back if needed. He initially made his name as a holding midfielder, but has since added several new layers to his game. He has high work rate which is an essential attribute for any player in the English league and can dictate the game from deep midfield areas and also can stop opponent attacks with his timely interceptions and well judged tackles.
His explosive runs and cutting passes are an added bonus, making him a unpredictable threat in midfield who can play in almost any formation. He would slot into Wenger’s 4-2-3-1 formation seamlessly, partnering Jack Wilshere and feeding the likes of Ozil and Cazorla.
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Arteta joined the Gunners from Everton in the summer of 2011 and has been a consistent performer, but it seems like Wenger is looking for an upgrade on the Spaniard. The Arsenal boss is said to be a long time admirer of Bender, who has 17 caps for the German national team.
He will cost us around £30 million but will be truly worth the money as we will get a tall, athletic midfielder with excellent concentration and that rare ability to throw himself into a tackle without much of a risk of a booking. I doubt he will be interested to make a move as he recently signed a contract extension, but a move to the Emirates might be too tempting to let go.
Should we sign him? Share your thoughts in the comments below.